My following article below was originally published by SERIOUS WONDER:
Every Star Wars fan remembers the infamous scene of Princess Leia sending a holographic recording of herself to Obi-Wan Kenobi via R2D2 – “Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi. You’re my only hope.” From the moment Luke Skywalker stumbled onto the secret recording, sci-fi fans became enthralled in the prospect of holographic projection as witnessed in the Star Wars universe.
Well, holographic Leia is no longer in a galaxy far, far away; she is finally here for everyone to share and enjoy. Leia Display System is a company that’s designed and engineered the very first commercialized holographic display. Coming in many sizes, the LDS allows users to touch and interact with the display, which is nothing more than a stream of fog carrying a digital image.
The first LDS is a small, compact system, 65cm x 65cm (2ft x 2ft), which can be arranged on your table, floor, etc. Each image carried by the fog is in hi-definition, allowing users to attain what could arguably be a much better resolution than old Ben Kenobi had to suffice with. This small version of the LDS is known as the Leia Display Standard.
The larger version is known as the Leia Display XL, and its dimensions are 3m x 2.5 m (9.8ft x 8.2ft). Here the LDS can be located near walls and hallways, given its size. Users will be able to better interact with it by walking through it, emerging themselves within the stream, and even alter it by hand through its multi-touch interface programming.
In a world today where holograms are becoming more and more a reality – from holographic Tupac performing at the Coachella 2012 festival, to Turkey’s Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan giving a speech to his supporters at a rally in holographic form – it isn’t that hard to imagine the vast possibilities holograms may aspire to in our growing technological culture. Perhaps soon, in the next decade, we’ll move away from the Star Wars holograms – fuzzy and quite limited – and begin witnessing Star Trek holograms, as shown in many episodes involving the holodecks – very realistic and capable of performing human behavior.
What was also witnessed and philosophically discussed throughout Star Trek was the probability of holograms becoming sentient, given the right programming – the emergence of living photonic beings! As we come to learn more about consciousness and are able to reverse engineer the brain, thus design artificial consciousness, who’s to say that holograms won’t someday become self-aware?